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A quarter-final film with behaviour that’s not wanted

Published: 
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Referee Wilmar Roldan of Colombia, center, shows a red card to Ecuador’s Antonio Valencia during a Copa America Centenario quarterfinal soccer match on Thursday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. AP Photo

The headline of this article was probably a mild explanation of the aggression, anger, ungentlemanly behaviour, and what appeared to be deliberate tackles.

The action was unnecessary as both USA and Ecuador seemed to have been well prepared for the contest. Jürgen Klinsmann turned to the support which the team was getting from a very partisan crowd, even before the quality of the game was not clearly recognised.

Ecuador took the initiative very early, with their smart build up, short diagonal passes which made the task of defending against them to be difficult.

It was a pretty picture from the South Americans’ point of view, although the physical and mental strength of the US provided the resilience which kept them from giving up an early goal.

The yanks, in their own methodical manner regarding their system of play, appeared ready for whatever their opponent could bring forward.

With a competent midfield consisting skipper Bradley, plus Jones, Bedoya, realised that they must keep Antonio and Enner Valencia away from their defence line. Zardes, who was listed for the third forward, played deep in midfield and mainly assisted in defense.

Apparently, the first positive attack saw Wood utilising his enormous speed towards an overhead pass nearly got him a clear picture at goal.

However the swift movement of the Ecuador defence kept Clint Dempsey under scrutiny, a factor which reduced the yanks to fewer attacking moves.

But the veteran Star was able to get his head onto an absolutely accurate cross from the right side of Jones and scored a goal which immediately change the tempo of the game. The crowd became more vociferous, the Yanks lifted their enthusiasm and added a bit of tough tackles more regularly than before.

The result was that Bedoya and Wood, two of their key players committed some ridiculous fouls, while Jones added his two piece to a foul which did not even include him. He jumped in, pushed an Ecuadorian and was sent off.

An added goal which was scored following some fine play by Dempsey, who made a positive run into the penalty area and slipped a pass which gave Zardis gift.

Ecuador continued to show the quality which they possess and created three simple headed goals, all missed by Enner Valencia. Finally, a well-planned corner kick which met Carlos Godoy as he slapped it past keeper Guzman.

The result was 2-1 for the USA and while they could boast of victory and entry into the semifinal, The ineligibility of Antonio Valencia (red carded) Bedoya and Wood receiving second Yellow cards, all displaying acts of immature players and not realising that their team will take the field without them for the next match.

The saying that the battle may be won, but the chance of losing the war could be the final result. Penalty for Columbia in their quarter final against Peru, fell well below their real standard and after a painful ninety minutes, they went to the penalty spot to seal their fate. Columbia won it and will now move into the semifinal stage.

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